You know you should appeal your Social Security disability denial. You can’t continue living like this, and you know you have a valid case. Still, you hesitate every time you picture entering a courtroom. You cringe at the thought of sitting in a witness stand while an uncaring attorney grills you on the details of your injury.
If that sounds familiar—take a deep breath. A court hearing for Social Security disability is nothing like you’ve seen on TV. Most are far too boring to entertain the masses.
Unlike a criminal hearing, a hearing for social security disability will likely consist simply of you, your attorney (or other representative) and the judge who is making the decision. Depending on where you are in the appeals process, you may be dealing with an Administrative Law Judge or a Pennsylvania district court judge. It can be intimidating to be questioned in a courtroom. However, it is the judge’s job to question you, not because he or she doubts you but because confirming facts is part of the due process of law. Questions you may be asked include:
- What are your physical symptoms?
- What types of treatment have you tried?
- What medications do you currently taking, and how do they help?
- When did your illness start making it difficult to work?
Both types of hearings are fact-finding, so you likely will not have to deal with cross-examination. The judge will hear your case and then send you his or her decision in writing. Should you have questions, you may also want to have an attorney or other representative with you at the internal hearing. Representation by a skilled Harrisburg Social Security disability lawyer is required at the district court level.
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